Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as Teen PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that results from teens experiencing a traumatic event, such as a physical or sexual assault, loss of a loved one, a natural disaster, or witnessing a death. While any traumatic event will result in teens feeling significant emotional challenges and stress for a period of time, symptoms of Teen PTSD persist beyond a traditional recovery period and can even continue to worsen, over time. Teen PTSD results in teens continuing to experience severe and persistent feelings of extreme anxiety, fear, and stress, almost as if they are responding to the initial trauma all over again, or as if they are in danger, even when they’re not. Because of this kind of chronic stress, teens will often experience a number of difficult physical and mental symptoms, sometimes including development or presence of a Co-Occurring Disorder, such as Teen Depression or Teen Anxiety. While most often teens will begin to experience symptoms about three months after the time of the trauma, they can also arise much later, even up to years afterward. Teen PTSD symptoms often include some combination of Avoidant or Numbness Response, Re-Experiencing, and Over-Arousal. Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment will be more effective the sooner that you begin treatment.
The Avoidant or Numbness Response symptom refers to the tendency for teens to avoid situations or topics that may trigger a stress reaction in them. On an emotional level, this often means teens tend to develop an overall numbness or apathy toward things, as a way to defend themselves from feeling anything too strongly. On a physical level, this mean teens often withdraw from people and activities and isolate themselves.
The Re-Experiencing symptom is characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, and/or memories that trigger severe, even physical symptoms in teens, and keep teens stuck in a consistent state of adrenaline-induced “flight or fright,” which is extremely taxing and overwhelming to teens’ bodies and minds.
The Increased Arousal symptom of Teen PTSD is closely related to the Re-Experiencing and connected to the disruption of the teens’ cortisol steroid system, which is the body’s stress hormone. Because of the chronic stress teens are experiencing, the body becomes over-flooded with cortisol, causing teens to be in an over-reactive state. This leads to symptoms such as difficulty concentrating; constant anxiety; teens’ feeling on-edge; rapid heart rate and blood pressure; headaches; muscle tension; extreme fatigue; and insomnia. One of the reasons why Teen PTSD can continue to become more sever over time is that this chronic stress and related cortisol-induced symptoms creates an unfortunate cycle that is very difficult for teens to escape.
Paradigm Treatment Centers Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment:
At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we design Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment to address the full-spectrum of stress teens are experiencing, including mental, physical, and emotional symptoms. Our individual daily therapy sessions are extremely beneficial, in helping teens to process the deeper aspects of the trauma they experienced, and which currently holds so much power in their lives. At the same time, we incorporate numerous different strategies to help teens reduce stress and gain relief, including things such as evaluating and addressing potential nutrition issues, sleep issues, relaxation techniques, relational issues, implementation of exercise regime, and more. By helping empower teens both to reduce stress as well as to cope with it better in the future, our therapists can help teens to heal on foundational levels which will allow them to process and move on from the trauma, once and for all.